I contend that the term “grotesque” provides a rule for organizing the experience of those works of art that cannot be classified in accordance with canonical or traditionally accepted Western poetic and/or aesthetic categories, which are basically the classical ones. In this respect, one can define a work of art X as grotesque, and mean a positive evaluation of X, while obtaining gratification from this uncanonical sensuous complex, which embodies both a variety of items and their organization into a whole, on the one hand, and simultaneously cancels the basic distinction between classification and evaluation. The definition of the grotesque as liminal and/or hybrid assesses the Renaissance ornaments named grottesche as images or spatial metaphors since their perceptual configuration spatializes a recurrent principle present in works of art belonging to different media. Within a general conception of art as being interrelated, this pattern became from the beginning a structure of meaning and a critical instrument. It initiated and enabled, i.e. verbalized the thinking about incongruity and afforded the ground from which the theory of grotesque or liminal in art emerged.
|Keywords:||Grotesque, Aesthetics of Liminality|
Senior Lecturer, Faculty of the Arts, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
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